Watch them Die

Kevin O’Brien

 

Oohh I did like this murder mystery. Nothing quite like a clever serial killer to have me up all hours reading when i should be sleeping. And this really is a rather clever serial killer story.

The serial killer shares with Hannah, a video store worker, snippets from old movies which show murder scenes which he then copies when killing someone she knows. So poor Hannah is warned of the crime before it happens in a most freakish way – she knows someone will be killed and how, but she does not know where, when or why. and what’s worse, because of her own personal history, she is unable to go to the cops. The fact that the videos containing the murder previews appear in her bag, in her shopping trolley, at her front door in a secure complex and other places not easily accessible adds the threat that the killer is actually stalking Hannah too – and getting very close to her without her even realising it.

 

Add to the mix a bunch of men circling Hannah, none of whom she can trust because one may be the killer, her son, and an abusive ex-husband and there are enough elements to keep the story cracking along, albeit from various directions.

I had an inkling of who the killer may be and I was sort of right but even thinking i knew did not make the rest of the book any less of a ride.

This wasn’t a challenging read and i read the book in three sittings, but it was gripping. It would make a kick-ass movie too.

Serial killer books pose their own challenge to authors – there must be a theme which somehow links the murder victims, and there must be some similarities in the actual murders too. Without those two elements, the reader has no chance of working out who the murderer is (which we all try to do to show ourselves how smart we are), and the murders will appear to be just a random collection of violent acts rather than the methodical process of victim collection. Finding unique but believable ways to make these links is one of the tricks to writing a believable murder. O’Brien does this marvelously in this book. I am surprised no real serial killer has ever done this. If i were planning on becoming a serial killer, I may have adopted this idea. As a wannabe murder mystery writer I am bummed O’Brien had this idea, and executed it so well, before I did.

Very clever, easy to read but totally gripping – this tale and author are going on my favourite list

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